The Birds of the Iberian Peninsula
The avifauna of the Iberian Peninsula reflects the area’s diversity of climate and landscape, and the contrasting influences of the Atlantic and Mediterranean. This first English-language ornithological account covers mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands, Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar, with chapters on geography, climate and habitats; the complete species list, including population statistics and distribution maps; and a selection of colour photographs.
H is for Hawk
Helen Macdonald was devastated by her father’s sudden death. Already an experienced falconer, she set herself an awesome challenge to confront her grief: to rear and train a goshawk, a member of the species she had thought of as ‘things of death and difficulty: spooky, pale-eyed psychopaths that lived and killed in woodland thickets’. This award-winning book records how, with TH White’s The Goshawk as her guide, she dealt with bereavement by adopting Mabel and living alongside ‘the hawk’s wild mind’.
Doves and Dovecotes
Dovecotes are one of the least recorded types of vernacular building, but architects including James Wyatt and Edwin Lutyens have designed them and their history reaches into antiquity. This survey of English and Welsh examples ranges from Norman times to the 20th century and from utilitarian structures to Palladian flights of fancy. The authors also describe how doves and pigeons have been domesticated, reared and used by humans. Off-mint.
Penguins and Other Sea Birds
This visual field guide to sea birds focuses on 50 species, each illustrated by a watercolour portrait, alongside notes on colour and behaviour. The birds range from the well-known – Emperor Penguin, Albatross –to the more unusually named Parasitic Jaegar and Blue-footed Booby. A useful spotting guide displays the birds across seven spreads.
The Seabird's Cry
The Lives and Loves of Puffins, Gannets and Other Ocean Voyagers
Adam Nicolson combines science, tradition and poetry in his ‘exploration of the ways in which seabirds exert their hold on the human imagination’. He describes the lives and habits of ten birds, among them native species of the British Isles, the albatross of the Southern Ocean and the extinct great auk, each one showing a different facet of seabirds’ unique ability to exist in three elements – on the sea, in the air and on land. Winner of the Wainwright Prize, 2018.
Birds of Paradise
A Colouring Expedition
Scientific illustrator Andrew Leach provides images of the 39 birds of paradise found in and around New Guinea in this colouring book. Each bird is given a short description, and guidance on plumage is provided through the photographs of wildlife photojournalist Tim Laman. Age 7+
A Naturalist's Guide to the Birds of China
Southeast China, Including Shanghai
The characteristics, distribution, habitat and migration patterns of 280 bird species are listed with photographs in this identification guide centred on seven provinces in Southeast China, including Hainan and Guangdong. Practical information for birdwatchers visiting the region is also included.
The World of Birds
This extensive photographic guide to birds explains all aspects of their life, from anatomy and flight to plumage and song, and features explanatory drawings and diagrams. It includes a comprehensive survey of the 32 bird orders and 195 families, with an account of each one and reference panels detailing range, habitat, food and migration. In addition, it has a full glossary of terms and two exhaustive indexes, sorted by subject matter and bird name.
The Art of Ornithology
This chronological account charts the development of bird art from early decorative images to scientifically accurate modern portrayals, focusing mainly on the period between 1650 and the present day. Presenting an extensive selection of original artwork from the collections of the Natural History Museum, Jonathan Elphick interweaves ornithological information with brief biographies of the artists, descriptions of the techniques they used and a critical appraisal of their work, encouraging a deeper appreciation of bird art and the riches of avian life.
Songs of Love and War
The Dark Heart of Bird Behaviour
From a commentary on the dawn chorus in a Dorset village, with quotations from the poets as well as explanations of the behaviour compelling the birds to sing, to his final, powerful argument for conserving birds’ habitats, Dominic Couzens’s book illuminates the realities of life for songbirds. Here are the grim truths of sparrows killed by sparrowhawks, the aggression inspired by feeding tables and crows made homeless by tree-felling as well the marvels of the skylark’s song and starlings’ murmurations.
From the familiar Great Auk to obscure island finches, this exhaustive listing describes all bird species known to have disappeared in the last 700 years and now represented by museum specimens and credible accounts and illustration. Each entry includes details of status, range and location of specimens, followed by a description and history, with quotations from written accounts. There is also a listing of ‘hypothetical birds’, known by very few specimens and unverified accounts, and appendices dealing with doubtful and deficient taxa.
As Kingfishers Catch Fire
Books & Birds
‘Triangulating between the bird, the world and literature’, Alex Preston’s book brings together a vast range of writing about birds and his own very personal experience as a birdwatcher, book-lover and novelist. Arranged by 21 bird species, each one illustrated by Neil Gower, the book quotes poets and prose writers as diverse as Dark Age poets, John Clare and Richard Mabey, looking always for writing that ‘makes the birds take shape in the mind in a way that is new yet immediately familiar’.
The Life of an English Hen Harrier
The Forest of Bowland is a bleakly beautiful Lancashire upland, and one of the last redoubts of the hen harrier in England. This book follows the life of one exceptional harrier, immersing the reader in her day-to-day regimen of hunting, bathing, roosting and seeking a mate. It is also a fierce rallying cry against landowners who illegally exterminate birds of prey to protect the grouse that sportsmen pay to shoot.
Waiting for the Albino Dunnock
How Birds Can Change Your Life
Despite having written many books about the countryside, including the bestselling Country Wisdom, Rosamond Richardson only picked up a pair of binoculars and started birdwatching in her sixties. In a series of lyrical prose poems, this book charts her growing engagement with the world of birds over a single year, and the joy and serenity it brought. The result is a precisely observed exploration of the importance of nature to one’s mental and emotional wellbeing.